Friday 16 October 2015

Stripped of Artefacts: The Effects of Metal Detecting

Over on a metal detecting forum near you, the half-brain discussion is still missing the point about "seed or strip" (giving us the finds to sell)" as a way of protection" of the archaeological record. The seeding lobby says that "We need a solution that is safe, that has minimal/zero cost, is easy to apply, does no harm to humans/animals or the archaeology... and lasts for years, and then we can all sleep easy", but "sweepstick47" (Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:26 pm) remarks [capitalisation as in original]:
"All except perhaps, our 22nd/23rd Century fellow Detectorists [emoticon]"
It beggars belief that anyone who sees the rate at which stuff is being taken out of the historical record to fill the pockets of collectors can think that this activity is at all sustainable another two centuries. Incroyable.

Anyway, I see in another thread that others are not so optimistic. In a thread about a coin that was apparently recorded in a separate, numismo-centric, database and not the PAS we find the usual barrage of "well done", "well saved M8" and "you done good" bonhomie. One "Stargazer" ruefully remarks ( King Stephen penny now recorded at Fitzwilliam m 12 Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:29 pm):
Frogeye finds some of the best stuff in the country. [emoticon] I wish I had some of his land.
"Frogeye" replies (Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:47 pm):
You can have a field that I have done [emoticon] but it will be empty of all metal objects [emoticon]
So basically the detectorist is aware that what he is doing is stripping the archaeological record of artefacts, and yet he took his coin to the Fitzwilliam Museum rather than the PAS. How many other artefacts ("some of the best stuff in the country") has this collector amassed in causing that the fields he exploits are "empty of all historical metal objects" which he has not reported to the PAS?

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